Meet Our Faculty

  • Sylvia Labourdette

    Sylvia Labourdette

    Owner, Director and Teacher

    Attended dance class at the Emma Pembo Dance Studio from the age of 6 until she graduated and received her Teacher’s Diploma in 1953. She opened her own school at the age of 16 and has operated a prosperous dance school for 68 years. On June 13, 2013 she celebrated her 60th Anniversary “A Diamond Jubilee” Revue and on June 12, 2018 she celebrated her 65th year of teaching the Art of Dance. She was President of the National Association of Dance and Affiliated Artists, and is a 47 year member of Louisiana Association of Dance Masters Chapter #6 and Dance Masters of America, certified by test to teach. From 1963 – 2020, she has graduated and presented a Teacher’s Diploma to 244 students. Many of her graduate students have performed on Broadway, were Disney World performers, judged many Dance Competitions, taught classes in New York and have opened successful Dance Studios.

  • Sandra Labourdette Brooks

    Sandra Labourdette Brooks

    Director, Teacher and Choreographer

    Attended dance class at the Emma Pembo Dance Studio from the age of 18 months until she graduated and received her Teacher’s Diploma in 1958. She started teaching dance at the Labourdette School and has been teaching for 63 years. She celebrated her 60th Year Anniversary on June 12, 2018 at her “What A Feeling” Anniversary Revue. She is a 47 year member of Louisiana Association of Dance Masters Chapter #6 and Dance Masters of America, certified by test to teach. She was Captain of the original Dance Drill Team for the New Orleans Saints and Choreographer for the Cheerleader Dancers of the former USFL New Orleans Breakers, the Heartbreakers.

    From 1987 – 1993 was the Choreographer for the Saintsations, the Dance Team for the NFL New Orleans Saints Football Team.  She also Choreographed and taught the halftime routines for the Saintsations performances at the American Bowl held in London, England and Tokyo, Japan. She has studied with some of the leading Dance Choreographers in the country and judged the All American Dance and Drill Team National Competition in 1994 held at the University of New Orleans. She has one Son Ken, a Daughter-in-Law Stephanie, Granddaughter Allison and Grandson Matthew.

  • Katie McGowan Harris

    Katie McGowan Harris

    Beginner Jazz Technique Instructor & Class Assistant

    Katie is on Faculty as the Beginner Jazz Technique Instructor and is Class Assistant in the Performing Arts classes. She began dancing at Labourdette School of Dance at the age of two and has continued to study dance ever since.  She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Theatre and Dance from Northwestern State University and an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education. Katie has competed and placed in both regional and national dance competitions around the United States. She was a VIP member of the Dance America/Dance Olympus National Tour in 2005. Katie is excited to be on Faculty and a Class Assistant for the 2020-2021 dance year. She is married to Greg and has a new baby boy, Grayson.

  • Michelle Beavers

    Michelle Beavers

    Hip Hop Instructor

    Michelle is the Hip Hop Instructor and is excited about being on Faculty for the 2020 – 2021 Dance Season. She has studied dance for 17 years and received her Teacher’s Diploma from the Labourdette School of Dance in June 2011. She competed on DB, part of Tiger Elite Gym, Hip Hop dance team in the 2016 Dance Worlds Competition. She has Bachelor’s Degrees in Chemistry and Biology from Southern Arkansas University and currently works for Entergy as a Chemistry Technician. Michelle has been married for 4 years to her husband, Ross.

     

  • Carmelita Hingle McGowan

    Carmelita Hingle McGowan

    Class Assistant

    She has been with the Labourdette School of Dance for 53 years. She celebrated her 50th Year Anniversary on June 12, 2018 and received her 52nd Year Award on August 29, 2020. She is a 1977 Graduate and has received her Teachers Diploma to teach tap, jazz, ballet and acrobatics. She has dedicated the past 33 years to educating children in the art of dance. During her years as a student, Carmelita was voted Most Talented Non-Finalist in the Louisiana Association of Dance Masters Competition. She has competed in New York, Las Vegas, Kansas, and Orlando, and has won numerous regional and national championships in group competitions. Carmelita is married to Danny, has four children and a Grandson.

  • Michelle Gouzien Higgins

    Michelle Gouzien Higgins

    Class Assistant

    She is a 1997 Graduate of the Labourdette School of Dance. She has been a Class Assistant since 1998, assisting in the Tap, Ballet, Jazz and Acrobatic Classes. She has participated and won in Regional and National Solo and Group Competitions. She graduated from Riverdale High School in 1999 and is a 2002 Graduate from Delgado Community College in Associates of Arts. She also, graduated from the University of New Orleans in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Michelle graduated from Charity School of Nursing in December 2014 with an Associate of Science in Nursing. She is a Registered Nurse at Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates. Michelle is married and has two daughters. Bella and Danielle are students at Labourdette School of Dance.

  • Taylor Waguespack

    Taylor Waguespack

    Class Assistant

    Taylor has attended the Labourdette School of Dance since the age of 3. She was a Class Demonstrator in the 2013-2014 dance season. Taylor graduated from the Labourdette School of Dance in 2014, received her Teaching Certificate, and is currently a Class Assistant. She graduated from Haynes Academy for Advanced Studies in 2014, where she was Captain of the award winning Lady Jacket Dance Team. She was named Captain at the beginning of her Sophomore year and acquired a choreographing position for her senior year. She was given a Choreography Award and a High-Point Award in the MA Dance Competition in 2014. She graduated from Louisiana State University in December with a Degree in Business Management with a concentration in Entrepreneurship. Taylor is excited to be assisting the Labourdette’s and sharing her love for dance in the 2020-2021 dance season.

  • Nicole Lama Sachitano

    Nicole Lama Sachitano

    Class Assistant

    Nicole has enjoyed dancing at the Labourdette School of Dance for 16 years; both as a young child and more recently as an adult. She received her Student Teachers Certificate on June 12, 2018, graduated and received her Teachers Diploma on June 11, 2019. She will assist in classes for the 2020 – 2021 dance season. She graduated from Mount Carmel Academy and was a member of the Carmellettes Dance Team. Nicole graduated from Louisiana State University Health Science Center in 2002, where she received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing. She is a Registered Nurse and is currently working as a Nurse Educator at Children’s Hospital New Orleans. She is married with two children. Her daughter, Isabella is also a Labourdette student and she is happy to share her love of dance with her daughter.

  • Lauren Vogt Stanga

    Lauren Vogt Stanga

    Class Assistant

    Lauren, graduated and received her Teachers Diploma in 2002. She has studied dance at Labourdette School of Dance for the past 22 years. Lauren is still dancing and is a member of the Advanced Performing Arts Class. She is excited to be a Class Assistant for the 2020 – 2021 dance season. She is married and has a daughter and a son. Her daughter, Mackenzie, is also a student at Labourdette School of Dance.

  • Abigail McGowan

    Abigail McGowan

    Class Assistant

    Abby is a Freshman at Southeastern Louisiana University. She is a student and has studied dance at Labourdette School of Dance for 16 years. She received her Student Teachers Certificate in 2017. Graduated and received her Teachers Diploma in 2018. Abby is a Class Assistant and is very excited to help assist in teaching class for the dance season 2020 – 2021.

  • Kelsey Brouphy

    Kelsey Brouphy

    Class Assistant

    Kelsey Brouphy is a senior at Ursuline Academy – New Orleans and has attended the Labourdette School of Dance since she was 3 years old. Kelsey is a 2019 Graduate and is a Class Assistant for the Saturday Classes in Studio B for the Dance season of 2020 – 2021. When not dancing, Kelsey performs in theatrical productions as a member of the Philelectic Society – Jesuit High School, does improv comedy with the J-Troupe and sings as a member of a Barber Shoppe Quartet.

  • Kristalyne Stewart

    Class Assistant

    Kristalyne Stewart is a Senior at Cabrini High School. She has studied dance at the Labourdette School of Dance for the past 13 years and  received her Teacher’s Diploma on August 29, 2020. This year she is happy to be a Class Assistant for the Thursday Classes.